Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Christian's View on an Atheist's View

This is an unusual approach to an article for me. I will be showing you some correspondence that I had with a reporter for The Christian Post. He was asking my views regarding a new book on creationism by an atheist (an associate professor of mathematics). It was not to be a book review, but rather, my comments about his remarks. Also, to offer my thoughts about the recent inappropriately named "Reason Rally". The following is copied and pasted from my reply to his letter. You can tell that I was in a hurry to get some pertinent thoughts to him (I opened the e-mail at about 3.15 PM and fired it back to him by about 4.15), but I also wanted to give him plenty of material so he could select what was needed. Added comments will be marked by brackets [like so].Let me emphasize that I have no quarrel with what Michael Gryboski wrote
here, in "Atheist Professor Pens Book About the 'Anti-Evolution Frontline'"
! He does his job, and I do mine. Right now, I want to use the material that I offered to him in case he needed it and offer it to my readers.

Michael kindly gave me his permission to reproduce his letter and my reply. My comments are in bright blue and in a different typeface.


On 03/27/2012 14:33, Michael Gryboski wrote:
Greetings, 

 I know this is a bit last minute, but I would like to get your perspective on a book that will soon be released on hardback. Here is a link to my story source:

 http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfarrell/2012/03/23/an-atheist-reports-back-on-his-tour-among-creationists/
[I hope my readers will look at the linked story so that my comments below make sense. I am amazed that Forbes would allow such shoddy, biased and manipulative reporting to be associated with their name.] 
I would like to ask you a couple questions on the record regarding the matter. A response by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time would be much appreciated. Here are my questions:

1. What is your opinion of evolutionist's Jason Rosenhouse's efforts to understand your side of the argument?
First, the article in Forbes is highly biased and skewed. That author uses loaded terminology and states that creationists are sneaky people trying to get the Bible taught. Strange, the creationist organizations from whom I obtain information are decidedly against teaching creationism per se. Evolution is not "under attack" (or if it is, I would like to have seen a quote from the bill itself instead of the author's pejorative terminology Edit: Some excerpts and a discussion of the Tennessee bill are here). Creationists want evolution taught, and also want evidence for creation and Intelligent Design taught as well; present all the facts, let the students decide. Evolutionists try very hard to protect their philosophies of historical science against contrary evidence. Just look at the efforts to outlaw the teaching of creation in England, and small-scale efforts to do so in the US (including a petition online at WhiteHouse.gov).

Rosenhouse attended "events", detailing only three of them. He complained about the lack of "scholarly literature in this area". Yet, there are many technical articles from a variety of scientific disciplines available online. Did he bother to check those, and the credentials of the creationist scientists? At PiltdownSuperman.com, I feature several articles a week from assorted disciplines, ranging from very technical to the layperson's level. Frankly, most evolutionists that I have encountered online who attempt to discredit creation science are woefully uninformed as to what is really taught and believed by creationists.

2. What was your opinion of the Reason Rally event? Do you believe it will have long term influences on the Creation - Evolution debate?
The "New Atheists" are not using anything new in their arguments, and are noted for lack of reasoning abilities. (In fact, their co-opting the terms "rationalist", "reason" and so forth for themselves, that they are reasonable by virtue of being atheists, is based on a genetic fallacy. It is two-edged, implying that non-atheists are not "reasonable". Ironic.) The only thing "new" is their level of vituperation. When Richard Dawkins called for ridicule (as Lillian Kwon reported http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-rally-for-reason-urged-to-mock-the-religious-72033/), well, they are already doing that [ridicule]. I expect the amount of ridicule to increase for a while, but Christians are being more informed about what and why they believe, to be able to present these things, and some of us are strongly urging Christians to learn some basics about logic so that they are not intimidated by angry atheist rhetoric and manipulation. I have stopped many atheists in their tracks who call themselves "rational" and who love "reason", but utilize the most basic logical fallacies. Some of the greatest scientists, past and present, have been Bible-believing Christians. We need to reclaim the ground that has been surrendered to secularists, and realize that God gave us minds to use.

When Biblical creationists become better informed about creation (and learn about evolution in this process) as well as engage in critical thinking, we can point out the flaws in evolutionary thinking and presuppositions. Then, we can show that the evidence best supports creation, not chance. That is, if people are willing to actually listen and think without evolutionary biases for at least a little while, and hear our side of the story, so to speak.

3. It seems as though over the past year efforts to get Creation Science, Intelligent Design, or at the very least a more critical view of Evolution in the classrooms is on the rise. What do you attribute to this apparent growth in anti-evolution efforts? 
I am not comfortable with the term "anti-evolution efforts", first of all. That implies legislative efforts to eliminate evolution, and implies efforts to create a kind of theocracy. Do not want!

As I said above, we want people to be informed about both evolution and design. Biblically, I am anti-evolution, but that is because I am opposed to compromise on the Word of God within the church. But I do not want to require the Bible to be taught in public schools. Instead, the scientific evidence for creation/ID should be presented without suppression so that people can think intelligently about the issue of origins. It has been said before, and I fully agree: To present only one side of origins and to suppress scientific information about the other side is not education, it is brainwashing.


4. Despite going to multiple Creation Science events, Rosenhouse is unconvinced on the scientific merit of Creation Science. Why do you believe this is so? 

Because of his own biases and presuppositions. There is no such thing as being neutral. Nobody is unbiased! As Ken Ham says, "It's a matter of which bias is the best bias to be biased with". I'm biased because I have the truth.

Also, evolutionists and atheists are threatened by creationists and ID proponents because it shakes up their worldview. I have seen some pitiful attempts to cling to evolutionary thinking, even after it has been discredited. (When I pointed out that even one DNA molecule is far to complex to have evolved by chance, one guy said that maybe it was less complex "back then"! Or the citing of discredited and disproved evolutionary "proofs" have astonished me.) If life, the universe and everything did not happen by chance, that means there is a Creator, and we should find out what he has to say!


Thanks in advance, 

 Michael Gryboski